William Shatner

Handwriting- a style in which characterizes a person.  It’s something uniquely theirs.  My own signature has changed over the years as I have taken a liking to the curve or straight lines of cursive letters which I have seen other people use.

Whatever the reason, I love collecting star autographs.  There’s something special about seeing your name being written in the moment on a piece of paper or photograph.  It’s transferring from the famous person’s brain to their hand, through the pen and forever onto the paper.  I see it as a fleeting moment in them that they are concentrating on you, making you special. That’s a lot to think about for the few seconds that the autograph is being created, so in reality, if you’re anything like me, you’re actually in a controlled hysteria causing you to stand there speechless; smiling like a fool before nervously walking away.

That reminds me of when I met William Shatner.  I’ve always been a Captain Kirk fan.  March 18, 2012 I got a chance to meet him in person.  He  bought his “It’s Shatner’s World and We Just Live In It” show to Milwaukee.  I chose to purchase the highest price ticket which would allow me to meet him backstage after the show.  Not to skip over the show and diminish how great it was (By the way I think it should be released on DVD I liked it so much), but this section is about autographs not shows.

I was very very nervous to even be in the same room with him.   Mr. Shatner was only going to be autographing posters from the show and nothing else in the way of Star Trek or other memorabilia.  We had our names written on a sticky note so he could personalize the poster and then pose for a picture.  This process would hopefully make the line run quickly and smoothly.  By the time it was my turn, the line may have been running too  smoothly and quickly.  I didn’t get to chat with Shat, but standing beside him was enough for me.  I posed for a nervous picture, took the autographed poster off of the table and began to take my first 2 steps away from the table when I heard him speak,

“Just hold on a minute. (pause)  Come back.”

It was like he had set phasers to stun and fired.  I was so afraid I had done something wrong as I turned to face him again.

“This poster is yours.  That guy before you walked away without his,” he explained.

I looked down and I was holding a poster made out with some man’s name on it.  Oh, Bill Shatner, if you hadn’t been paying such close attention, I may have had a useless souvenir on my wall right now.  I traded posters with Bill and thanked him.  He just nodded and went on to the next poster in front of him. I imagine if stars do this enough it does become quite mechanical.

This is one of my most prized autographs as I don’t think it’s that easy to get to meet William Shatner everyday.  Also the same reason why I paid so much. wpid-20140718_230559-1.jpg

Ring the Bells

With all the unrest across the globe, three songs came to mind this weekend; this one and Arlo Guthrie song and a Jim Croce song, all with a running peace theme.  This one won out, but don’t worry.  I’m sure the other two songs will pop up in a future post.  

Melissa Etheridge’s song “Ring The Bells” is a track on a Christmas Album called, A New Thought For Christmas. It was written by Salman Ahmad, Melissa L Etheridge.  The lyrics after the 1st chorus are my favorite. 

These are the lyrics, as interpreted.  Any errors, please let me know.  

I couldn’t find an official video so I chose one (below) that had some good visual representations


By Melissa Etheridge

As God is God, as light is light
Whose law is wrong? Whose might is right?
Here we are on the edge
The edge of change

I believe in peace, my only wish
I believe that we can co-exist
Let’s go further now
Than we’ve ever gone before

And ring the bells, ring the bells of change
Ring the bells every boy and every girl
Ring the bells, ring the bells of peace
All over the world

We’ve all been called to wake from sleep
To feel our power to create the dream
To step out from the dark
Past our fathers’ fear

Ring the bells, ring the bells of change
Ring the bells every boy and every girl
Ring the bells, ring the bells of peace
All over the world

Here we stand in unity
Making one choice to be free
Every truth blends into one
As we believe it shall be done

Here we stand as soldiers now
Turning our swords into plows
There is not a nobler clime
Achieving peace in our own time

I know peace begins with me
With all I feel and with all I see
And I know it’s no easy task
Removing our own fearful mask

But I have seen us rise and fall
Stand on the moon, tear down the wall
And I know we can do it all
And do it well, so ring the bells

Ring the bells, ring the bells of change
Ring the bells every boy and every girl
Ring the bells, ring the bells of peace
All over the world, all over the world

Ring the bells, ring the bells of change
Ring the bells every boy and every girl
Ring the bells, ring the bells of peace
All over the world, all over the world

Ring the bells, ring the bells of peace
Ring the bells, ring the bells
Ring the bells, ring the bells



Wicked Weather

This news story has probably been circulating around the internet the past few days.  It just caught up to me today.

In Novosibirsk, Siberia’s largest city, hail the size of golf balls pelted beach goers who were enjoying a near 100 degrees Fahrenheit (40 degree Celsius) weather prior to the ice assault when a sudden change in the temperature dropped to about 20 C.  Seeking shelter under a tiny umbrella or towels couldn’t be much help


I’m a follower of Bill Nye the Science Guy so I am a believer that climate change is a serious issue that is far too often overlooked.  Freak weather occurrences like this can’t be swept under the rug.  

Then I saw another story (about Siberia again) where they found a strange hole in the ground.  It’s located far in the north in what they call the edge of the world on the Yamal Peninsula.  Experts have speculated that it could have been caused by a sink hole from an underground gas explosion or “a heap of Earth-covered ice that is found in the Arctic and subarctic, and if it was large enough, and melted, it potentially could have created a giant hole.  

How could something that size melt, without there being problems with the climate in the area?  I think people need to first agree that there is a problem and then work on how to fix it.  Pretending it isn’t a problem isn’t going to make it disappear.  

It’s not just Siberia, North America has it’s share of weather with an increase in greenhouse gasses,  radiation in the air, hurricane Sandy flooding Manhattan, polar vortex, ice floating in the great lakes into the month of June.   


groundhog day


Sewer Socialism

Milwaukee has deep German roots going back to the 1800’s with the City seeing the boom by a wave of immigrants who left Germany for political reasons in the 1840’s .  Prior to the German immigration, the City had a population made up of French fir traders and trappers like Jacques Vieau and Solomon Juneau. Milwaukee also saw an influx of ethnicity such as Poles, Scandinavian, Irish, Jewish, and (Yankee) British, however the numbers of these groups could not top the Germans.

They brought with them intellectualism, art, their politics and of course beer (Schlitz, Blatz, Pabst and Miller Breweries).  Even in present day Milwaukee, you can see the remnants of the past in our architecture.  Notice the helmet like spires atop the Brumder building as well as the gazebo along the Milwaukee River.  Old World 3rd Street has seen the old buildings preserved and still hosting many German businesses.

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The brand of democratic socialism brought to Milwaukee from the late 1800’s up to 1960 was not radical like Marxism or National Socialism, but rather a type of constructive socialism that was all for clean, honest government and clean living. The political ideology was for a democratic political system that combined socialist economics like cooperatives.  Many farms and dairies in Wisconsin were run as cooperatives.   Locally, the Socialist Party of America was called Sewer Socialism in Milwaukee because of how our sanitary system became modernized and it was something that the party members boasted about regularly.

In 1910, the Socialists won most of the seats in the Milwaukee city council and county board. The first Socialist Mayor, Emil Seidel, in the United States was in Milwaukee.  Under his administration, the working minimum wage was raised and workers saw the enforcement of an 8 hour work day.  This was after the bloody Bay View Rolling Mills Strike.   However, Republicans and Democrats alike did their best to discredit the Socialists and Seidel was defeated for re-election, and the corruption returned with Mayor Daivd S. “All the Time Rosey” Rose.

The 2nd elected Socialist Mayor in Milwaukee was Daniel Webster Hoan, who governed until 1940 with honesty and efficiency.  Mayor Hoan’s term was a golden age in the Milwaukee’s government.  Milwaukee won a number of awards as the healthiest, safest and best policed big city in the United States.

Believe it or not, but the Socialist Party of America were pacifits.  Their anti-war platform coupled with their predominantly German heritage got them in trouble during World War I.  Because they didn’t support war of any kind, patriotic Americans saw them as being Pro-German and feared a German take over on the home front.


DW Hoan
Milwaukee Mayor Daniel Webster Hoan on the cover of the April 6, 1936 TIME magazine. The inside article is titled Wisconsin: Marxist Mayor. Hoan was the 2nd elected Socialist Mayor serving from 1916-1940


During The Great Depression, Milwaukee did what they could to stay a float.  The City started work relief programs which built public parks and recreation centers, libraries and when money was short they derived their own Red colored Milwaukee Municipal Script.

This good outcome of governance certainly doesn’t seem to be the kind of Socialism that the country wants to remember, (because in the eyes of most, Socialism is always bad) but it is in fact part of our political history.  And I’m proud to have been born in such a city with a solid past.

After Hoan, Milwaukee had Frank P. Zeidler, a 3 term Mayor, and the last Socialst to serve from 1948-1960


Flip Side: The True Story of Bob Crane

Today’s “Bookshelf Sunday” post is about a book that hasn’t been published yet.  It’s a work in progress, near completion, that I wanted to feature today –July 13th — because this is the date of Bob Crane’s birthday back in 1928.

The title of the book is Flip Side: The True Story of Bob Crane


I can’t put it into words any better than one of the authors so I implore you to visit the official website for information on the book.  http://www.vote4bobcrane.org/book.html

But if I can sum it up for you in a few sentences without deterring you from visiting the website, this book aims to set the record straight and truly depict the man that Bob Crane was through intensive interviews and research of his co-workers, friends, and family.  It’s to belie the horribly false movie of Auto Focus.  

To quote the site directly, the author states, “Time and again, the message from those closest to Bob came across loud and clear. Bob Crane was NOT the depressed, lop-sided “character” portrayed by Greg Kinnear in Auto Focus. He was kind. He was smart. He was talented. He was driven. He was sensitive. He had a “sunny personality.” He was full of life, laughter, and compassion. He was a loving father. He was a “genius in radio.” He was an “actor’s actor.” He was a star but without an inflated ego.”

This biography I’m sure will delight Bob’s fans who want to learn more about his life outside Hogan’s Heroes as well as opening the eyes of the curious who may not know much about him other than his unsolved murder. 

I became so fascinated with this project when I heard about it because it was nice to find kind words written about Bob Crane for a change.  The lies and snide remarks and disreputable associations regarding Bob’s character are hurtful.

Before, all I know about Bob was Hogan’s Heroes.  When I started following the progress of Flip Side, I learned that Bob was a musician, and the drums you hear on the Hogan’s Heroes theme song is him playing.  I learned that he was a hilarious and popular DJ in Los Angeles and interviewed countless movie stars.  

You can hear these interviews on youtube.


Soundcloud has different audio than YouTube where you can hear him playing the drums more.  


If you are on facebook, you might consider following these pages. 




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You’re Hired! White House Intern

I make a living keeping track of records…other people’s records.  I’m not so good when it comes to my own.  People would be appalled to know that I have boxes full of unorganized papers and photographs.  Thus I’m angry at myself for not keeping a better journal of the time when I served as a White House Intern.  Hopefully, using my blog,  I can resurrect what events occurred and piece together thoughts and feeling from past emails and notes and pictures.  (I have lots of pictures !)

It’s hard to get started when I can’t even recall why it is I was pushed in the direction of our nation’s capital.  At the time, and the time was late spring 2006, I was employed in City Government for a year, so I had a decent primary job and working part time in retail plus taking some extra college courses here and there.  At the beginning of 2006 I started in a new work location for the City, in the Document Services Section which housed the City Records Center, Mail Room and Print Shop.  Prior to this I had taken 2 government classes at Milwaukee Area Technical College with the same instructor.  He was a former City Department Head and State Senator.  In my opinion a very honest politician and somewhat of a hero to me… even if at the time he was a member of the opposing political party.  I looked up to him so much and was grateful that he gave me a superb letter of recommendation for my Intern application.  His classes got me energized to become a more active participant in politics. 

I found the application for a White House Intern when I was on my Congressman’s website and he had a link to studentjobs.gov.  That’s where my memory gets fuzzy because I don’t remember why I was searching for a job. Perhaps I had a bad day at work or something.  I didn’t tell a lot of people what I was doing.  I was actually embarrassed because I felt like they would think I was out of my mind for attempting this.  I only had a week left before the deadline to submit everything I needed to be chosen for the Summer semester.  I was down to the wire and faxed all my materials on the last day.  




Something pushed me to try one more time. Just one more time, anything more and I’d appear obsessive about getting the job.  I used the summer to tweek my application before trying for the fall semester. Parts of this story still bring tears to my eyes when I think about it.

I remember it was a very hot summer day.  Even working in the basement we had unnecessary lights and equipment shut off to help cool the temps.  I was working on the Xerox Docutech High Speed Copier.  I was alone in the print shop at the time, when the phone ring.  I looked down at the caller I.D. and it read “Call from 202″.  Puzzeled, I looked at it for a few rings.  I couldn’t figure out why the 2nd floor would be calling me.  That would have been the City Clerk and I didn’t have any current business with them.  I picked up the phone to ease my worried mind.

“Print Shop.  This is Maggie,” I greeted.

I was asked my full name and I confirmed.

The woman introduced herself and asked, “Do you know why I’m calling?”

I told her I thought I did.  

It was this phone call that I was offered an internship in the photo office at the White House.  I couldn’t believe I had actually been selected.  She told me if I wanted to put my hand over the receiver and tell my co-workers the good news I could.  I looked around but no one was there.  During the conversation, Marvin had come in and was talking to an employee from another department near the mail room and I tried flagging him down. 

When I fished the phone call I was so excited and couldn’t wait to spread the news.  I ran all the way up to my old department to tell everyone.  Then I went to my 2nd job that night to tell those co-workers.  I was frantically trying to tell everyone.   It reminded me of a silly little clip from The Monkees’ episode called I’ve Got a Little Song Here when Mike sells his song to a Hollywood producer.  Here’s the clip.

My official start date was in September after Labor day.  I had a lot of work ahead of me the next few months putting together a suitable wardrobe, finding housing, getting my college credit squared away and tying up what needed to be done to be temporarily released from my job with the City.  The summer flew by.


pogo pic